For today’s blog we are jumping back a bit to my first engagement session of 2016. Stephanie & Chris have been one of my many couples who patiently months for some decent snow. Honestly, from what the first part of winter looked like, I didn’t think we would get it. Of course we had snow, but (according to my mother) it only snowed on Wednesdays this year. For photos you really want to wake up on Sunday morning to a fresh coating of pretty snow. Fortunately for us, March finally brought along that much needed picture perfect snow.
Stephanie & Chris were pretty laid back with their photos. Stephanie had a few ideas, but they were open to anything. Since this was my first session for a few weeks, I went a bit overboard. Their final image count was about double what I typically give. It was totally worth it.
Be sure to LIKE me on Facebook to see the sneak peek of their December 2016 wedding.
It was wonderful catching up with Nicole & Brian last week; I don’t believe that I have seen them since their June 2013 wedding! Brian (being the sweet husband that he is) surprised Nicole with a mini session for Christmas. The two of them, plus their fur babies Mitten and Nugget, spent the afternoon posing for family photos at Founders Hall. Not only are Nicole & Brian SVSU alum, but it is also the place where they became husband and wife. Enjoy!
Feel free to stalk me on Facebook! www.facebook.com/ashleylynnphotography
The warm weather has finally arrived! Hopefully for good this time. My wedding season starts next week, so I don’t have anymore patience for Mother Nature’s little tantrums! Alas, this is Michigan so we never really know what tomorrow will bring.
On today’s blog I have Kendell & Kyle’s wintery engagement session. We were debating on canceling literally 45 minutes prior to the session. Luckily, the wind died down so we were able to jump in my car and head out to Downtown Bay City for some photo fun. Did I mention this was April 2nd? Ha ha.
Be sure to like my Facebook page to be one of the first to check out Kendell & Kyle’s wedding sneak peek coming in May!
Lauren & Andrew were married in the breathtaking Immanuel Lutheran Church located just off of Columbus Avenue in Bay City. With beautiful skies and mild temperatures, the weather was just about ideal for a Michigan winter wedding (of course I wouldn’t have minded a bit more snow). After their early afternoon ceremony, the newlyweds jumped on a party bus from Silver Sand Limo and headed downtown for some fun. Between photo sets, the bridal party had a great time hanging out at the always welcoming Stein House. Thankfully, the ladies were prepared with decent shoes as the entire area was SUPER icy. My favorite photo location for the day was actually in the middle of the salted street!
The day wrapped up with dinner and lots of crazy dancing at the LFA. The decorations in the hall continued the beautiful blue color scheme with an added touch of wintery pine cones, branches, and candles. Did I mention the party favors? Two words: maple syrup. I totally woke up the next morning and cooked homemade pancakes for dinner!
Thank you so much Lauren & Andrew for allowing me to capture your wedding day. I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed working with you and your family!
2016 is going to be a busy year around here! Be sure to like me on Facebook to catch all of my wedding sneak peeks! www.facebook.com/ashleylynnphotography
New Year’s Eve weddings are always the best. Not only are guests there to celebrate a wedding, but to ring in the new year as well. This means that the party always goes well past midnight. Not only did Kaylyn & Eric have a fantastic event, but they also had the absolute best weather possible. There was a decent coating of snow on the ground and the air was fairly warm. Doesn’t hurt that they picked Apple Mountain for their entire event. It was an awesome Saginaw area wedding.
With winter weddings, timing is everything. Kaylyn and I worked extremely hard from the start with planning enough time for outdoor photographs. This paid off as we were successful in taking all of the outdoor photographs before the sun even started to set. Honestly, I didn’t feel any sort of a time crunch the entire day. Big thanks go out to their family and bridal party as well! They were extremely cooperative the entire day. There was no issues or confusion at all!
The reception was decked out in silver glitter and butterflies. It was a beautiful tribute to those loved ones no longer with us. Apple Mountain served a fantastic dinner while dessert was cupcakes from The Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe. DJ Corey Rusch manned the dance floor and caricature artists from Goofy Faces created unique party favors. Of course the night finished up with noise makers, fun hats, and lots of balloons. Did I mention there was even a nacho bar?
Please enjoy Kaylyn & Eric’s sneak peek! I had a wonderful time capturing your wedding day and ringing in the new year with you!
Be sure to like me on Facebook for all of my 2016 sneak peeks! www.facebook.com/ashleylynnphotography
Can you believe that we are in the final days of 2015? Yikes. Since it’s the end of the year, I figured it would be a great time to share some 2015 statistics (and fun, unseen photos) with you!
Number of booked weddings
20 (the max that I accept a year).
Top ceremony venue
Apple Mountain coming in with 5 weddings.
Top reception venue
Yet again, Apple Mountain with 3 receptions.
Favorite new reception venue
A 3 way tie between The H Hotel, Crooked River Weddings, and The Milestone Barn. I did lots of traveling this year.
Most popular color
It’s a tie with 7 Blue and 7 Purple.
Most popular abnormal cake flavor
Banana!!! Yey, my favorite!!!
Another tie! The first was a batman themed wedding and the second was U of M themed.
Hands down August was the most comfortable.
October! One week it downpoured the entire day while the next it snowed during the outdoor ceremony. There really was no predicting the weather this year. Overall, 2015 was super sunny as well.
Unique Party Favor
Flavored popcorn bar. I couldn’t keep my hands off of the caramel apple.
Most played game
The shoe game! It’s definitely had an increase in popularity within the past few years.
A few local reception venues trying to start the idea of “One Stop Shopping”. I highly recommend asking your venue coordinator for their suggestions on a DJ, photographer, florist, baker, and so forth. They work with many different vendors every single week and can help guide you in picking the best one for your specific event. The issue that I have been seeing lately comes down to venues having these type of vendors “on-staff”. They may offer a DJ at a great price, however there is a good chance that this vendor does not have professional experience nor the proper equipment for your wedding. There is even a better chance that these on-staff vendors have a separate full time job and only do weddings on the side. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of working with a full time vendor whose career is dedicated to weddings! I have had some awful experiences with this in larger areas like Detroit and Grand Rapids and recently found myself extremely disappointed in a few local (formally reliable) wedding venues. Do your homework. Never hire a wedding professional blindly through another.
Huge props to my clients! This year has been overwhelmingly positive when it comes down to planning ahead. You guys have really taken to heart the issues that I cover during the initial consultation. Like I said before; my consultation’s purpose is not to sell my services to you, but to go over your event in order to make it the best possible. It is easier to fix problems a year in advance rather than 20 minutes out. The timelines AND family formal lists have been dead on. When I tell you to plan for 40 minutes of post ceremony, family formals, I mean 40 minutes. Yey for off of your 2015 awesomeness! (I would still like to see those photo guides showing up 30 days in advance. I’ve had a few show up rather late this year. Cough. Cough).
All in all, 2015 was another great year for Ashley Lynn Photography. Looking forward to 2016 means some things as well:
Some of you may have noticed a new website set up. Sometimes you just wake up in the middle of the night and decide to make some major changes. I will be updating the text and adding my 2015 portfolio soon, but my January will be mostly tied up with my 12/31 and 1/9 weddings. I am also looking into changing my website address a bit. Since legally settling on “Ashley Lynn Photography” in 2010, the name has been becoming a bit too popular for me. For safe measure, I will be adding in my last name to mix. I am not a huge fan of the alliteration, but starting in 2016 I will be working under my name “Ashley Lynn Plyler Photography” for social media purposes.
I’m excited to say that I’ve been warming up to the little ones. So after a 3+ year hiatus, in-home newborn photography has returned! I find it to be a bit more relaxing to sit in a new momma’s living room and work around the baby’s schedule rather than forcing them to pack up and travel to me in a strange studio. I am offering special pricing for this service until March 2016. Don’t get too excited, my husband and I still have no intention of having our own children. Ha Ha!
I have replaced lots of equipment this year. New cameras, new computer, new flash system; life is good. With this digital improvement, my productivity has skyrocketed. For 2016, I will be accepting regular family sessions. I have never offered this in the course of my business. Normally I do one day in the Spring and one in the Fall, this year will be anytime outside of the busy wedding weeks.
I’m considering it, but I’m not quite sold yet. My experiences while working with other professional studios hasn’t been the best. Senior photography requires lots of dedication to editing, communication, and administrative work. I dedicate my career to 20 weddings a year and it’s just not fair to my brides to split my time up around seniors. I will revisit the idea once I’m settled into a physical studio.
Yep, I said it. I have been a freelancing it around the Tri-City area since 2009, it’s time to settle down. My husband and I will be starting the process of selling our house towards the end of 2016. It’s a scary thing, but necessary. Our new home will include a separate studio space just for my business. Due to the all of the legal/ insurance/ zoning issues, I have no idea on when or if this will happen. Rest assured, you all will be invited to a giant housewarming party filled with 90s music, junk food, and silly games.
See everyone in 2016!
November weddings are always a fun challenge. It is pretty much dark by 5:15, which means I have to create a hard-core game plan ahead of time. Thankfully for me, Rachel & Robby decided to hold their entire wedding at Horizons Conference Center. It was wonderful photographing the bridal party getting dressed, the ceremony, and reception all in one location. Even though we only had the opportunity for a few outdoor photographs, we were still able to capture the entire day fantastically.
A football theme slowly became more apparent as the day went on. From the vows to the guest table, Rachel’s love for Roll Tide and Robby’s for the Geaux Tigers made for a day full of healthy competition. Did I mention that the Alabama versus Louisiana State game happened to fall on this same day? Maybe that wasn’t a coincidence. . . Enjoy!